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(Space.com)   Amazing photo of the Orion Nebula, as observed from Chile by a composite image of five filtered exposures lasting 52 minutes each   (space.com) divider line 38
    More: Cool, Orion Nebula, Chile  
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8318 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Aug 2012 at 7:31 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-13 05:47:17 PM
Little known fact: The image was actually supposed to be a composite of six exposures but they weren't able to use the first one, on account of them forgetting to take the lens cap off.
 
2012-08-13 05:57:21 PM

EducatedBum: Little known fact: The image was actually supposed to be a composite of six exposures but they weren't able to use the first one, on account of them forgetting to take the lens cap off.


I've done that. With a half-hour exposure.
 
2012-08-13 07:44:17 PM

soosh: EducatedBum: Little known fact: The image was actually supposed to be a composite of six exposures but they weren't able to use the first one, on account of them forgetting to take the lens cap off.

I've done that. With a half-hour exposure.


3.bp.blogspot.com
Might have been able to help
 
2012-08-13 07:45:47 PM
Well, that's my new desktop

sorry, Ms. Jenneke
 
2012-08-13 07:48:53 PM

EducatedBum: Little known fact: The image was actually supposed to be a composite of six exposures but they weren't able to use the first one, on account of them forgetting to take the lens cap off.


Are you serious, Clark?
 
2012-08-13 07:53:17 PM
I wonder if it would be possible for a habitable planet to exist near a nebula. What a spectacular sight that would be at night.
 
2012-08-13 07:54:50 PM
egg.astro.cornell.edu

How did they fit it in there?
 
2012-08-13 08:11:21 PM
Composite images are observant.
 
2012-08-13 08:16:50 PM
If you look closely, you can see an attack ship on fire.
 
2012-08-13 08:23:04 PM
i46.tinypic.com
 
2012-08-13 08:24:56 PM

pudding7: If you look closely, you can see an attack ship on fire.


You're batty!
 
2012-08-13 09:10:03 PM

Counter_Intelligent: I wonder if it would be possible for a habitable planet to exist near a nebula. What a spectacular sight that would be at night.


I expect there's a lot of radiation in there. The nebula is mostly ionized hydrogen and oxygen. If you could find a habitable planet, you probably wouldn't want to live there permanently. The nebula would get in the way of seeing anything else clearly. There's a lot of faint stuff you wouldn't be able to see, and spectroscopic analysis (which tells you the chemical composition of stars, galaxies, etc, as well as the rate at which they're moving toward or away from you) would be almost impossible. I doubt you'd be able to discern the cosmic microwave background, which would hamper your ability to learn about the origin of the universe. There's a lot of astrophysical science you'd have trouble doing from inside the nebula.

That said, protoplanetary disks have been found in the Orion Nebula.
 
2012-08-13 09:10:50 PM
Very cool, off to the space theme for that wallpaper.
 
2012-08-13 09:25:57 PM

Counter_Intelligent: I wonder if it would be possible for a habitable planet to exist near a nebula. What a spectacular sight that would be at night.


Probably not. It would probably lead to a very cold planet (due to the cloud blocking out the star) and I would imagine the cloud would fark up the atmosphere.
 
2012-08-13 09:33:33 PM
Very cool...I remember when I saw Orion for the first time at Palomar.
My first astrophysics class.
 
2012-08-13 09:34:31 PM
Came for the Orion slave woman, leaving disappointed.
 
2012-08-13 09:35:32 PM
This is also why I don't mind the lens flare in Star Trek too much. It makes stars look 20% cooler.
 
2012-08-13 10:51:00 PM

machoprogrammer: Counter_Intelligent: I wonder if it would be possible for a habitable planet to exist near a nebula. What a spectacular sight that would be at night.

Probably not. It would probably lead to a very cold planet (due to the cloud blocking out the star) and I would imagine the cloud would fark up the atmosphere.


It doesn't quite work that way. When part of a molecular cloud collapses into a new star, this new star begins to radiate energy. It was already doing that as an ionized molecular cloud, but that's nothing compared to what it does as a star with nuclear fusion going on in its core. Sunlight is one form of this radiated energy, but it's not the only form. Anyway, this radiated energy interacts with everything surrounding the star and tries to push it away. For free-floating molecular gas, it's pretty successful at that. It's less successful pushing dust and protoplanets, which may have enough gravity to retain and accrete their own atmospheres. Before long (relatively speaking), you have a protoplanetary disk, a region up to 1000 AU around the star which has basically been cleared of this nebular cloud. The star heats the planets which orbit it in the same way the Sun heats the Earth, so I don't think there's reason to think those planets would be particularly cold as compared to us.
 
2012-08-13 11:37:31 PM
I would like to see what these nebulas look like to the unfiltered eye. Would I be able to see all of that without all the colored lenses? What *would* I see?
 
2012-08-13 11:40:32 PM
I've been browsing astro sites lately, looking to maybe get a new telescope for the first time in 30+ years, and checking out pics people have taken; with proper tracking and decent prep (and computer-composited multiple exposures, like in TFA), it's amazing what amateur gear can do nowadays.

OTOH, might be easier and cheaper to let other people take the pics.
 
2012-08-13 11:49:32 PM

brandied: I would like to see what these nebulas look like to the unfiltered eye. Would I be able to see all of that without all the colored lenses? What *would* I see?


Through a scope? It'd look a little pinkish, not too dramatic, but still neat to see live. Most color astrophotos overstate colors to some extent; using elemental filters (for hydrogen/oxygen/UV spectra) complicates that. As it says in TFA, they used a UV filter for one exposure and then assigned a visible purple shade to represent it in the final image; so you'd never see that in a live view.
 
2012-08-13 11:58:39 PM
Biggest image size is 1920x1200. :(
 
2012-08-14 12:06:35 AM
Someday, America will bring a new buckle for Orion's belt.
 
2012-08-14 12:18:13 AM
That's a nice astronomical picture, and all, but I am going back to that picture of the full Moon on the Entertainment tab.
 
2012-08-14 12:49:41 AM

brandied: I would like to see what these nebulas look like to the unfiltered eye. Would I be able to see all of that without all the colored lenses? What *would* I see?


If you're looking through a telescope, the Orion Nebula will look mostly gray and wispy, like smoke. There will be a set of what looks like 4 stars in the core of the nebula which form an asterism called the "Trapesium". If you're looking through binoculars, it'll look somewhere between pink and purple. If you're just looking with your eyes, it'll look like a sort of fuzzy purplish star.

You don't have to use filters to take a picture of the Orion Nebula. There are a couple purposes to using filters. If you have a color camera, the main point of a filter is to get rid of undesirable wavelengths of light, so you get better contrast. You can use filters visually for the same purpose. You can take a color picture of the Orion Nebula using a color camera without using any filters at all, but the filters may help faint features to stand out from the background better.

A lot of astronomers use monochrome cameras. Roughly half the sensors in a color camera go toward detecting greens, and a quarter each go towards reds and blues. All the sensors in a monochrome camera go toward detecting the intensity of the light, and you can use filters to separate out different kinds of light. This can lead to better pictures in the end - you just have to keep notes on which filter you used for which exposure, and add the colors back in when you're post-processing. Many amateurs use what are called "LGRB" filters - luminance, green, red, and blue. The purpose of the red, green, and blue filters should be pretty obvious. The luminance filter is clear, but generally blocks ultraviolet and infrared light. Some people use "UBVRI" filters instead of "LGRB". This system is called color index. "U" is "ultraviolet", "B" is "blue", "V" is "visible" (yellows and greens), "R" is "red", and "I" is "infrared". It sounds like that's what was done here.

It's a nice picture, but the core of the nebula is a bit blown out. They could have taken a shorter exposure to capture more detail of the Trapesium area and then merged it in for a better result. It's arguably a less accurate representation since you're artificially dropping the brightness in one region; but at the same time, you're also restoring lost detail.
 
2012-08-14 04:15:29 AM

jtown: Biggest image size is 1920x1200. :(


I'm pretty sure this is the same picture (cropped slightly differently), and it goes up to 9000x8600.
 
2012-08-14 04:31:36 AM
*yawn*

This one's better, or at least it would be, if the original was still online. It really adds depth to the nebula.
 
2012-08-14 05:18:51 AM

machoprogrammer: Counter_Intelligent: I wonder if it would be possible for a habitable planet to exist near a nebula. What a spectacular sight that would be at night.

Probably not. It would probably lead to a very cold planet (due to the cloud blocking out the star) and I would imagine the cloud would fark up the atmosphere.


Stars form during the collapse of regions of nebular clouds. When the star ignites it will push out any remaining small particles within the region of the solar system (particularly in the areas where rocky planets would exist). The solar system will be rather clean of 'cloud.' There would still be a lot of larger bodies but once impact and and differentiation were finished and planets could cool, the solar system would be alright. The solar wind from the star would keep the immediate area clear. I don't think there would be a planet in this kind of neighborhood that was naturally hospitable, however it's entirely possible that in the future a little terraforming could create a nice little planet with an amazing night sky.
 
2012-08-14 06:06:57 AM

Dadoo: I'm pretty sure this is the same picture (cropped slightly differently), and it goes up to 9000x8600.


Merci
 
2012-08-14 07:31:42 AM
Orion Nebula? Where all the green women at?
 
2012-08-14 07:54:46 AM
"Light in the yellow-green part of the spectrum is coloured green".

The hell, you say.
 
2012-08-14 08:24:40 AM

Deuterium: "Light in the yellow-green part of the spectrum is coloured green".

The hell, you say.


It was phrased awkwardly, but the individual frames which they assembled to make this picture were all monochromatic. They could have made the yellow-green frame appear purple during post-processing if they wanted to. There's no particular reason it had to be green in the final image. It doesn't make much sense to have the final image look different from its visible components in this image, but in other cases it does.

NASA and others may use very narrowband filters to isolate certain wavelengths of light, which represent certain ionized states of hydrogen, oxygen, calcium, etc. Hydrogen-alpha and Sulphur-II both show up in the red end of the spectrum, where it would be difficult to distinguish one from the other based solely on the final image, so NASA takes the Hydrogen-alpha and maps it to "green", leaves Sulphur-II as "red", and Oxygen-III as "blue". Thus, you end up with the false color Pillars of Creation image. It looks nice, but it also has scientifically useful information contained in the colors.
 
2012-08-14 08:44:27 AM
Why do the stars look like they've been shopped in with a lens flare tool?
 
2012-08-14 08:54:55 AM

Feepit: Why do the stars look like they've been shopped in with a lens flare tool?


If I look closely, I see a crosshatch going across the lens flare. I also see fainter secondary images of this same crosshatch, all lining up toward the center of the picture. We're likely seeing internal reflections due to the filters. The thing that looks like a lens flare is actually an image of the secondary mirror and the spider vanes holding it. This is also why many of the brighter stars appear to have four spikes - the spikes are a result of diffraction caused by the spider vanes.
 
2012-08-14 08:55:51 AM

pudding7: If you look closely, you can see an attack ship on fire.


The nebula's down by his wang, his shoulder's out of the frame.
 
2012-08-14 08:56:26 AM

Mytch: Stars form during the collapse of regions of nebular clouds. When the star ignites it will push out any remaining small particles within the region of the solar system (particularly in the areas where rocky planets would exist). The solar system will be rather clean of 'cloud.' There would still be a lot of larger bodies but once impact and and differentiation were finished and planets could cool, the solar system would be alright. The solar wind from the star would keep the immediate area clear. I don't think there would be a planet in this kind of neighborhood that was naturally hospitable, however it's entirely possible that in the future a little terraforming could create a nice little planet with an amazing night sky.


plaidhat: It doesn't quite work that way. When part of a molecular cloud collapses into a new star, this new star begins to radiate energy. It was already doing that as an ionized molecular cloud, but that's nothing compared to what it does as a star with nuclear fusion going on in its core. Sunlight is one form of this radiated energy, but it's not the only form. Anyway, this radiated energy interacts with everything surrounding the star and tries to push it away. For free-floating molecular gas, it's pretty successful at that. It's less successful pushing dust and protoplanets, which may have enough gravity to retain and accrete their own atmospheres. Before long (relatively speaking), you have a protoplanetary disk, a region up to 1000 AU around the star which has basically been cleared of this nebular cloud. The star heats the planets which orbit it in the same way the Sun heats the Earth, so I don't think there's reason to think those planets would be particularly cold as compared to us.


Learn something new every day! Thanks
 
2012-08-14 10:45:09 AM
The angle from Chile is nice, but I prefer the Orion Nebula as observed from a more northerly location like Tennessee.
 
2012-08-14 12:26:18 PM
This is why astronomers struggle for funding.
 
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